Monday, January 26, 2015 Icicle Eagle and Fluffed up Robins

Seward, Alaska

Usually when the clouds roll in, the temperature rises. But not today. The thermometer plunged to 9º, which is very chilly for Seward. Wispy ghosts of steam danced down the bay, propelled by the last gasps of the fierce north wind.

I did not hear the VARIED THRUSH above the roar of the wind on Saturday, but sure enough, a couple brave males were singing this morning despite the cold.

This noon, bundled up and barely able to operate my camera, I chanced upon a BALD EAGLE with icicles covering its throat feathers and one hanging from the tip of its bill. The heavy ice pulling on its feathers must have felt terrible! Brrrr! Tough bird!

Later, when almost to my driveway, I pulled over to watch at least 22 very hungry and fluffed up ROBINS hopping along the street eating gravel, and probing the almost green, frozen lawn under some spruce trees. The males are really handsome with their bright brick red breasts, white eye-ring, and yellow bill. If they weren’t so common, we’d probably appreciate them more.

I heard the familiar chirrrr of a BOHEMIAN WAXWING and found the elegant bird in the almost-barren Mt Ash trees with 4 PINE GROSBEAKS.

How these birds manage to survive the cold days and even colder nights is a testament to the wonder of feathers. As long as they can find calories, they greet the next new morning with gladness and hop to it. Some, like the Varied Thrushes are suitably inspired to sing. Now there’s a lesson in gratitude!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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